Anyhow, although I'd been savoring my meandering for about an hour (even finding some sweet-smelling bath salts), I'd simply lost track of time.
So as I was rushing to the Launch conference opening talks, a curb came out of nowhere -- well, that's certainly what it felt like! -- and I wrenched my knee. Ouch! Aargh! Eeeks!
I could actually feel my kneecap move around into places where it didn’t belong (although I was wearing a very thin protective brace, because I’d harmed this same knee before.)
In short, I hurt myself because I was in a rush, and I wasn’t fully present or consciously alert.
Otherwise, I would have seen that high-level curb and therefore easily avoided it.
For the next four days, while at the great Launch conference, I regularly iced my painful knee. (I chose not to take the hours it would take to find a doctor in Orlando, get X-rays, etc., because I didn't want to miss the amazing event.)
Yesterday, after returning back home, I realized that I badly needed medical help.
After many desperate calls to orthopedic surgeons—who couldn't see me until June or July!—I finally pleaded pitifully enough so that one doctor’s assistant kindly squeezed me in to see a top-notch doctor to whom I'd been recommended.
I also need to slow down. (See also my 7 Tips to Calm Down.)
My doctor predits that in about 8 weeks -- I hope sooner, my knee should be fine.
I’ve Rushed for Years. What About You?
Contorting and twisting my knee while confronting that darn curb made me realize and admit that for years, I’ve excelled at rushing.
I'm a Rusher Par Excellence!
Apparently, I’ve even sought out places to live and a profession where scurrying is a plus—or, rather a must. Yikes!
Up until two years ago (when I moved across country to be with my then-terminally ill mom, who I later lost), I lived in Manhattan, the city where if you rush, you excel. (Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it often seems that everyone is dashing about and running late in The Big Apple.)
Not only that, but as a trained journalist, I’m used to frequent article deadlines. In fact, my editors often leaned on me, saying, "Connie, where is your story? We need it!" Back in my days as a daily reporter, I had to crank out several articles a day.
The fact is this isn’t the first time that my stressing and rushing have made me accident-prone and then caused me serious physical pain.
While a daily journalist and pushing to meet constant deadlines, striking computer keys so quickly (I'm super-fast) and so often on an ergonomically unsound work station and not taking enough breaks, led to excruciatingly painful carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, tendonisovitis and dystonia. At the time, I could barely move my hands, but my doctor didn't recommend surgery. Besides, I was was determined to find another route -- thank you, acupuncture and B vitamins. Anyhow, I had to take many weeks off work, and and eventually I just quit my job so I could go freelance to protect my poor ailing wrists.
Another time, while racing to meet a deadline to finish my first book, Sugar Shock, I badly injured my back by sitting too long while on the keyboard and by not getting up to stretch often. My amazing acupuncturist helped me get through this time.
Then, once, while dashing for a cab in New York City, I severely sprained my ankle by stepping in a nasty pothole I hadn’t noticed.
Oh yeah, there was also the time, while rushing to get back to my sailing lesson that I rammed head-first into a glass window and suffered a concussion.
Now, let's get to the sugar connection, which date to about 1998. While trying to cope with the ever-pressing deadlines of a journalist, I became addicted to sugar and processed carbs, which I call quickie carbs.
In fact, I relied on unnatural sugar and carb highs to give me a buzz, help me think straight and write quickly. (Ultimately, I beat my sugar and carb addiction while creating many easy-to-master tools, which I shared in my book Beyond Sugar Shock. FYI, my quit-sugar-iversary comes uup Tuesday so stay tuned for my upcoming post, "7 Ways Life Improved by Being Sugar-Free for 16 Years."
Back to my hurry accident. The Universe -- speaking through my aching, throbbing knee -- is clearly telling me to Slow Down!
Will you join me in a campaign to Stop Rushing & Start Relaxing? Here are 7 tips to get you going.
7 Tips to Stop Rushing & Start Relaxing
1) Claim Calm.
Before you even get out of bed in the morning, breathe deep into your belly and then exhale. Do this for three to 7 minutes. As you do this, inwardly repeat, “I claim calm now. I claim calm now. I claim calm now.” (If you can't last that long, just try 7 or 10 rounds.)
2) Stay Calm Even If You’re On Deadline.
Whenever you feel rushed for one reason or another, claim calm for at least three breaths. You can do this even when you’re working, driving, waiting for your kids, walking or preparing that pressing project.
3) Take Relaxing Time-Outs.
Throughout the day—at least three times a day—claim calm again for seven breaths; notice and enjoy the scenery around you.
Whenever you have an appointment, give yourself an extra 45 minutes to an hour to get there. That way, you won’t get frazzled if you hit unexpected traffic, get lost or encounter other surprising challenges. (You certainly won’t mess up your knee as I did rushing to get there.)
6) Keep Track of Time.
Enjoy yourself, but if you have an appointment, keep an eye on the clock so you won’t have to rush at the last minute as I did.
7) Be Alert for Street and Sidewalk Ruts & Potholes.
What a no-brainer! Wish I’d taken my own advice here.